BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Chicken Coops for Urban Yards

Thanks to space-conscious chicken coops for urban yards, more people are raising chickens in the city. A downside to this are what the national media are dubbing as “hipsters” abandoning their chickens after realizing they’re “too much work.” Why it’s a surprise that raising live creatures might be arduous is beyond me, but I guess it’s cutting into the hipster time allowed for doing nothing and looking good doing it. As the National Post here in Canada recently reported:

“People don’t realize how much work they actually are,” said Barbara Cartwright, the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies based in Ottawa, while acknowledging people who attempt to raise backyard chickens are driven by good intentions — to be more environmentally conscious, humane and to eat healthier. “Certainly what is not on people’s radar screens is chickens live eight to 10 years. They don’t lay that whole time,” she said. “So what’s going to happen is we expect to see an influx over the next couple of years as chickens stop laying, people don’t have humane slaughter plan or haven’t thought through an eight to 10 year plan to take care of chickens that aren’t laying.”

It’s certainly more complicated than some people think, and it’s definitely a problem if you think you buy these birds, get eggs every day, and live a happy Martha Stewart-like life. So, now that we haven’t glamorized raising chickens, let’s look at some really, really cool chicken coops, for those who know what they’re getting into.

1. Jessica & Mike got creative, using space already available by enclosing an area under their children’s playground area and turning that into a coop. What a great way to involve their children in the raising, caring, and loving of their chickens.

2. Kathy Lafleur is a mosaic artist who got creative with her coop. Using old terracotta roof tiles, mosaics, and more, her coop is a masterwork of quirky charm, with a living green roof and a lot of style, her chickens are probably some pretty happy residents.

3. Williams-Sonoma, of all retailers, has come out with quite a line of designer chicken coops, and I’d really be quite smitten with almost any of them, but I love the cedar coop, which offers a neat little planter area, all for the “low, low price” of $1,900.

4. An English company called Eglu is producing super-low-maintenance chicken coops with reasonable prices and really easy installations. These are chicken coops for urban yards where space, and time, are at a premium. This model is the largest, called the Cube.

5. David Quick snapped this shot of a really neat chicken coop at Hampton Court that makes me think of writing a movie called Chicken Run: Tiki-Style! Umbrella drinks for every chick!

6. This family got brilliant and made their own, approaching the electrical company to get some empty industrial wire spools for free, then upcycling them into a genius chicken coop tower.

7. Authors McElroy & Wolpe came out with a book called Reinventing the Chicken Coop, and in there is the great Kippen House Garden Roof Chicken Coop, which incorporates a beautiful garden roof.

8. When the Hobbit chickens come home to roost, they’ll do it in these adorable coops inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy’s town of Hobbiton, in the shire.

9. The Nogg is as much modern art as it is a chicken coop, and while I love the look and style, I think I’d be opting for something more traditional, with windows and more room. Still, it’s a good example of how much the style and design of coops can vary.

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.

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